China reports new bird flu death

Latest casualty raises country's human deaths from deadly H5N1 virus to 17.

    Scientists fear a global pandemic if the H5N1 virus mutates and passes between humans [EPA]

    The latest victim surnamed Lu was taken to a hospital in Jiangsu with a fever, news reports said, but he died five days later.


    Xinhua news agency said the local government has taken "relative prevention and control measures" since Lu's case was reported.


    "All of the 69 people who had close contact with Lu have been put under strict medical observation," the agency said. "So far, they have shown no signs of symptoms."

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) said it was in touch with Chinese health officials who were monitoring Lu's close contacts.
    Joanna Brent, a WHO spokeswoman, told Reuters: "At this stage we don't have any more information about how he [Lu] would have contracted it."


    China has had 26 human cases of H5N1, and with the world's biggest poultry population and millions of backyard birds roaming free, is at the centre of the fight against the disease.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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